A total knee replacement (TKR) or total knee arthroplasty is an operation to replace a knee joint that is affected, damaged or worn away from arthritis or injury.
Depending on how bad the damage is to your knee joint, consultant orthopaedic specialists may advise that you have part or all of it replaced. Total Knee Replacement surgery replaces the affected, damaged knee joint with highly specialised metal and plastic implants.
An artificial knee joint can last up to 20 years, and although you won’t have as much movement as before the operation, you’ll be able to move much more efficiently and without pain.
The operation to replace your knee is performed under spinal anaesthetic and takes around an hour and a half. During the operation, an incision is made on the front of your knee, and then will resurface the top end of your shin and the bottom end of your femur with polished cobalt chrome. This new surface is bonded to your bone using acrylic cement, followed by placing a high-density polyethylene lining between the two bones so that the joint surfaces move smoothly against each other.
If non-surgical methods such as physiotherapy, painkillers and exercise don’t work to improve the pain, you may need to have your knee surgically replaced.
The procedure is usually recommended for patients who suffer from pain and loss of function that has not responded to conservative methods of therapy.
Each patient is assessed individually but total knee replacement may be indicated for patients who are Suffering pain, and Have restricted mobility that is interfering with their lifestyle.
The benefits are that older patients or severely arthritic patients have a clear solution to help relieve symptoms and pain.